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This Week in Gaming News: Love is a Battlefield V



Welcome, true believers of gaming news, to another week’s roundup from yours truly. If nothing else, this week in the gaming world has been further proof of the dichotomy of opinion this medium almost constantly elicits in its audience. If there’s one thing video game fans hate, it’s sitting on the fence, and that’s fine – it gives me stuff to write about, and sitting on fences fucking hurts. On the one hand, this week has given us one of the best superhero games ever made, and on the other it’s given us quite possibly the final nail in the coffin of one of gaming’s most revered shooters. There will be no middle ground, and that’s just the way I like it.

‘Battlefield V’ Beta is not Better

Go on YouTube right now, type in Battlefield V Beta, and see what you get. Granted, if there’s one place for considered and rational opinion, then YouTube is about as far away from that as possible, but reaction to this week’s open beta for the already under-fire Battlefield V has been extremely negative. A report a few weeks back revealed, somewhat questionably, that pre-orders of EA’s new World War II take on the series were down massively from previous iterations, and the angst being thrown at the beta is definitely not doing the game any favors.

Popular channels like Angry Joe and Worth a Buy are amongst those who have nothing good to say about the beta, with the heaviest criticisms labelled at its smaller maps and less tactical, CoD-like gameplay. If there was such a thing as the Battlefield Bible, then page 1 would be “don’t make this game feel anything like Call of Duty.” Oops. I played the beta, got absolutely shot to shit and decided I’d be going nowhere near it come release. Then again, I’ve never been a big Battlefield fan outside chucking loads of C4 onto a jeep, driving it at a group of lads, jumping out of the moving vehicle, and blowing the bastards to kingdom come back in Battlefield 2, but the experts seem to be unanimous – this doesn’t feel like Battlefield any more.

Gaming News Battlefield V

Sing it with me: nobody likes you, everybody hates you…

It seems the series has been headed down the more casual route for a few years now, and with this beta it seems EA and DICE are doubling down on that notion. Some critics have even said that the game feels like Star Wars Battlefront, right down to the upgrade system now being one of in-game credits, and we all know how people feel about that. Schadenfreude dictates that I enjoy seeing something cynical and exploitative being taken down a peg, but as a dude that just wants a proper World War II shooter on current consoles I’m left, once again, extremely disappointed.

Spider-Man Does Whatever a Batman Can 

Bloody Norah. Marvel’s Spider-Man released on PS4 this week and it’s brilliant. I’ve relapsed right back into my addiction to the video game crack that is the web-swinging that first entranced me back in Spider-Man 2. Insomniac’s current effort punctuates its stellar traversal mechanics with the most refined take on the Arkham games’ combat system since…well, you know.

The game is entangling an abundance of impressive review scores in its web – currently sitting at an impressive 87 on review aggregate site Metacritic, and deservedly so. Not only is Spider-Man a beautiful and enthralling game with great mechanics and a well-told story, it also has one of the best photo modes in any game ever.

Gaming News Spider-Man

I made this just for you guys. Ok, I made it for me, but I’m sharing it with you.

We also learned that three pieces of DLC are coming under the banner of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps, with the first episode Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist arriving on October 28th, and the other two episodes following in November and December. Naturally, then, this spider has a lot of legs and I genuinely wish I was still playing it right now instead of writing this column. I’ll be back soon, Pete.

Surprise! Nintendo’s Cloud Saves Are Shite

You know how the saying goes; you get what you pay fo…oh, wait. If Nintendo’s involved, what you pay for can sometimes be a steaming pile of cow jizz. We already knew that the cloud save system – something we apparently don’t deserve for free – wouldn’t support all games on the system, and this week we were given confirmation on some of the titles that picked the short straw.

In line with the way Nintendo seems to do things recently, the games not supporting cloud saves were discovered as they leaked onto the official site before any announcements were made – possibly due to the delay of this week’s scheduled Nintendo Direct in the wake of the earthquake in Hokkaido. Gameinformer scoured the website and found all the games that featured the dreaded “This game does not support Save Data Cloud backup” in their information sections. The games are Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee & Pikachu, Splatoon 2, and 3rd party titles Dark Souls Remastered, Dead Cells, FIFA 19, and NBA 2K19. 

Gaming News Switch

If you want all Switch games to have cloud saves, Nintendo has two words for ya

All those 3rd party titles support cloud saves on both Xbox One and PS4, because of course they do. Anyone who is 100% justifiably pissed off that these titles won’t support cloud saves almost certainly won’t be consoled by Nintendo’s reasoning as to why this is the case. The flimsy excuse given to Gameinformer is that they don’t support cloud saves “because of item duplication possibilities.” Give me a fucking break, Nintendo.

The paywall will be hitting Nintendo’s online services later this month and, as of right now, it seems to offer about as much value as a chocolate teapot. It’s clear as mud that Nintendo really need to get their act together with Nintendo Switch Online, because right now it’s a complete mess.

Nintendo Switch Gets Civilized

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Nintendo Switch this week, as news broke that Civilization VI will come to the console on November 16th. If there’s one type of game that I really need to be on a portable system like the Switch, it’s a Civ game. I am a fan of the series, but sitting in my PC chair at a desk for hours on end doesn’t compare to chilling in bed for a late-night diplomacy session. Getting revenge on Gandhi for nuking my civilization whilst doing something similar to my toilet bowl also seems extremely appealing too.

Gaming News Civ 6

Not included: the view of my bathroom from the toilet

Not only will we get some lovely portable Civ action on Switch, we’ll also be treated to “four playable scenarios, each with a different setting and style of gameplay inspired by history,” according to the game’s official website. The playable scenarios are Vikings pack, Poland pack, Australia pack, and the Persia and Macedon pack. The Switch version will support four-player wireless multiplayer, and you’d be a fool to ignore this title when it comes out.

Henry Cavill of Rivea

One of the first stories I ever wrote about in this column was the announcement of Netflix’s live-action Witcher TV series, and we finally have our Geralt of Rivea with this week’s announcement that the disgracefully handsome Henry Cavill (of Superman fame) will don the dual swords once the show begins filming in Eastern Europe.

The man himself is apparently a massive Witcher fan, which is refreshing to hear, as DenofGeek reports he has been itching to play to role for a long time, and is quite the gamer. Well, he plays a lot of games anyway – he might be bollocks at them for all I know. Cavill apparently met showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and clearly charmed her, as she tweeted “I’ve never forgotten the passion he brought. He IS Geralt. He always has been. I’m so thrilled to welcome Henry Cavill to the Witcher family.” That’s a pretty strong endorsement right there.

Gaming News Witcher TV

It’s a fake, but damn is it a good one

The show isn’t due to hit screens until 2020, so there’s plenty of time to wait until we see Big G slaying monsters and maidens in equal measure, but everything’s pointing to some smart decision-making so far.

I’ve put off Spider-Man long enough, so I’m away to jump back off a Manhattan building and fight crime. Then after that I’m definitely going to boot up the PS4. See you in seven.

Crotchety Englishman who spends hundreds of pounds on video game tattoos and Amiibo in equally wallet-crippling measure. Likes grammar a lot, but not as much as he likes ranting about the latest gaming news in his weekly column.


Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Antlers’ Gets a Mysterious Trailer




Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer and poster for Antlers, a rural horror film about a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret that places the entire town in danger.

Director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro have teamed to adapt a short story from Nick Antosca, the creator of the criminally underrated horror anthology series Channel Zero. Not much is yet known about Antlers other than Fox Searchlight, now owned by Disney, has scheduled the film for a 2020 release. Rounding up the main cast is Graham Green, Amy Madigan, Scott Haze and Rory Cochrane. Watch the trailer below.

Antlers Movie
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Be Excellent to Each Other with these Awesome ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Figures

“History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell.”




Since its release in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure inspired a sequel (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), a Saturday morning cartoon, a comic book series, and launched actor Keanu Reeves into movie stardom. And now, three-plus decades later, Bill and Ted are getting their own scale collectible set courtesy Sideshow and Blitzway.

This is your chance to own the friendly duo in one go! The work put into creating these high-end figures is truly astounding as the figures capture the look of a young Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves just as we remember them. If you have $399 to spend, they can be all yours.

Check out the photos below along with the official press release.

Bill and Ted are two high school buddies who dream of becoming international rock stars. Their hilarious time travel adventure is depicted in the amazingly audacious comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

It’s like having them pop up right in front of you, with their iconic fashion and elaborate accessories. Besides, the iconic props are designed to let you reproduce a variety of wonderful scenes from the movie.

Be excellent to each other and travel to the past through the exciting story of Bill and Ted!

The Bill & Ted Sixth Scale Collectible Set specially features:

Highly detailed likeness of Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq.
Highly detailed likeness of Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan
Newly designed and developed male body with over 30 points of articulations and flexible soft arms
Two (2) Newly designed and developed figure stands
Twelve (12) interchangeable hands (total for both) including:
Two (2) pairs of guitar hands
Two (2) right blow fist hands
Two (2) pairs of open hands
Two (2) right good fortune hands

Costume for Bill:

One (1) purple pattern shirt
One (1) graphic t-shirts
One (1) pair of blue jeans
One (1) pair of pattern underpants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

Costume for Ted:

One (1) blue jacket
One (1) black vest
One (1) graphic t-shirt
One (1) pair of graphic shorts
One (1) pair of inner training pants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

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Watch the Creepy Trailer for ‘Little Nightmares 2’: Six is Back and She has Help.




One of the biggest surprises to come out of Gamescom 2019 so far is the announcement of Little Nightmares 2, the sequel to the puzzle-platformer hit horror game developed by Tarsier Studios.

While the first Little Nightmares has you take control a character named Six while avoiding instant death as she traverses alone amongst the depths of a dungeon, the sequel will give her a companion named Mono, who must accompany Six throughout her terrifying new journey.  

Little Nightmares was one of our favorite games of 2017 and so we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel. In our review, James Baker wrote, “Tarsier Studios have created a wholly original concept to a horror genre that has leaned more towards thriller before anything else, bringing its roots back without relying on jump-scares and needlessly-gory shocks. Just like hide-and-seek, Little Nightmares captures the fear of being caught, albeit in a creepy, macabre style.”

Little Nightmares 2 will be released sometime in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Watch the trailer below and if you are a fan of the first game, we recommend reading this article that dives deep into the meaning behind Little Nightmares.

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NBA 2K20’s Story Mode Gets a Stunning Trailer




NBA 2K19 features to date, its strongest MyCareer mode with the aptly titled, “The Way Back”, a fascinating look at the culture behind college basketball recruiting. The story mode was well received by critics and fans everywhere and in our review, we called it, “an incredible achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length”.

NBA 2K20 which will be released in less than a month, promises to include an even better story mode, and while we haven’t played the game yet, we have plenty of reasons to think it might be. Not only does it feature an all-star cast with top-tier talents such as Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson, but the story mode – entitled “When the Lights Are Brightest” – is being produced by LeBron James’ Springhill Productions, the same company behind the upcoming Space Jam 2.

NBA 2K20’s latest trailer, which debuted Monday during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox show live from Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, give us a good idea of what to expect. We get a glimpse at Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson in action as well as the rest of the supporting cast which includes Thomas Middleditch, Mark Cuban, Ernie Hudson, Lamorne Morris, Scottie Pippen, and Jaleel White!

The NBA 2K20 demo will go live on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and will allow players to create a character and get a head start on MyCareer. Any progress made will carry over to the full game, which will be released Sept. 6 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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The Transformers: Lessons in Warfare, Scale, and Childhood



The Transformers are an enduring part of American pop culture. Starting with the introduction of the first toy lines in the early 1980s, the animated series went on to define a large part of ‘80s culture, reaching its apex with the release of The Transformers: The Movie in 1986. After a disappointing performance in theaters, however, the brand reached a nadir in the post-movie era, receding from the front of American pop culture until the late 1990s, when Transformers: Beast Wars brought the franchise to the forefront again.

It was into this climate that I was born. By the time I was old enough to watch TV and get toys courtesy of the North Pole and my parents, I began to take an interest in the series. After all, what five-year-old boy doesn’t like the idea of giant robots fighting each other for control of the earth and the universe?

My local video store (yes, those used to exist) had a copy of the first three episodes of the original Transformers series, Generation 1, on VHS. I remember renting this one particular copy from the store and watching it at least three times, sun-faded front cover and all. Even then, I loved the series, though I only had a few generic dollar-store “transformers,” an Armada Megatron that I had received for my fifth birthday, and a couple of hand-me-down G1 figures from my Dad.

Some of my earliest memories of Transformers came from a trip my parents and I took to visit my Dad’s former college roommate, a professed 80s culture geek. I remember watching a ton of G1 episodes, like “Dinobot Island,” as well as The Transformers: The Movie on his large projection-screen TV, an experience which inculcated within me an intense love of the series.

Optimus Prime The Transformers The Movie

Optimus Prime, bastion of bravery and an excellent role model for a maturing boy.

The first real episodic Transformers show that I watched with any sort of consistency, however, was Transformers: Armada. Now, I don’t remember much about this show — for good reason, as it’s derided by many Transformers fans for its poor animation, bad dubbing, and terrible story — but what I do remember is one particular toy that I really enjoyed: Armada Unicron.

I think it was the Christmas of 2002 when I first got Unicron. I remember having seen him in the store and (probably) telling my parents something or another about it, but I was utterly shocked when Santa brought it to me as a present. As a kid, Unicron was an impressive toy that towered over all of my other Transformers. He was such a hefty toy that I had trouble just picking him up from the ground. After having seen The Transformers: The Movie, I was just impressed by having the planet-eating destroyer of worlds himself in toy form. It was good to be a kid.

My consumption of Transformers-related content stayed relatively the same for a couple of years. Since my family didn’t get any of the channels that the shows came on, I was often left to make up what stories I could from my own memory, but we had Netflix (back when it was a DVD mail-in service), so I was able to watch some of the old series, including Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Transformers: Energon on DVD. As usual, however, I spent most of my time in school or playing on my GameCube.  

When Michael Bay’s Transformers released in theaters in 2007, it ushered in an entirely new era of Transformers fandom across the world. With the return of G1 originals Peter Cullen and Frank Welker as the voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively, the ‘80s were alive and well again. This transformation (pun fully intended), brought about the introduction of an entirely new show, Transformers Animated, which aired on Cartoon Network. Before the days of DVR, it was nearly impossible for someone like myself, who was usually involved in any myriad of school activities on any given day, to find the time to watch a show at its air time. 

Unicron Armada Transformers Toy

Just look at this toy! Even today, it’s impressive.

However, luckily enough for me, Cartoon Network aired reruns of two episodes of Animated every day at 6:30 AM. As someone who lived literally two minutes away from school, I usually didn’t leave my house until around 7:45 or 8:00, so I had plenty of time to watch the show. I remember getting up every morning, fixing myself a big bowl of cereal, and sitting down to watch Animated before anyone in the house was up. Just me, Transformers, cereal, and a lot of fun. 

Soon, as I aged and Animated was replaced by Transformers Prime, I grew into a more nuanced appreciation for the shows’ storytelling. Prime, a dark tonal contrast with Animated, found me at the perfect time in my life. I appreciated its reverence for Optimus Prime and its overarching themes of sacrifice and leadership. While some would say it was boring or over-wrought, for a burgeoning pre-teen it was an engaging combination of cool and edgy that I thoroughly enjoyed.

When I sit down to think about the impact the Transformers series has had on my life, there’s one point in particular that sticks out to me: the imagination that playing with Transformers encouraged. While the brand was doubtlessly born of a commercial desire to sell as many pieces of plastic as possible, it nonetheless developed into a series capable of some interesting, if not always deep, storytelling. 

I copied this sense of storytelling when it came time to play with my toys. I remember incorporating various weather machines, weapons of ultimate power, and energy crystals into overarching narratives that could last a whole afternoon. Narratives in which Autobots died, lost limbs, or were otherwise in peril before the power of the Matrix of Leadership or Primus himself showed up to save them in the end. While this may not seem all that unique, I credit the series with instilling in me a sense of narrative detail. In fact, I remember not mixing my G.I. Joes and Transformers together, because in my internal head canon, they weren’t to scale (everyone knows that Transformers are at least three to four times taller than humans.) 

Megatron vs. Dinosaur G1 Transformers

I can safely say that I probably played out this exact scenario at least four or five times in my childhood.

However, Unicron himself created all sorts of problems for an internal narrative. For a being the size of a planet, he was rather puny in scale when compared to the other figures. So, I would always put Unicron to the side and pretend that the smaller Transformers were mere dots on him, tiny little specks that could barely be seen, the same as they had been in The Transformers: The Movie. I feel like the toys gave me an appreciation of the tropes of narrative fiction that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed or appreciated. 

Today, I still love the series and try to watch The Transformers: The Movie at least once a year. Newer entries, like Transformers: Rescue Bots and Rescue Bots Academy allow me to share my love of the series with my younger siblings without encountering the darker elements of some of the classic shows. It allows me to teach them all about the Cybertronians that I grew up with, and perhaps encourage them to craft stories of their own. Now, excuse me while I help the Rescue Bots put out a fire on Wayward Island…

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